A Guide to the McCowan Family Papers, 1848-circa 1866
James McCowan was born in Alabama on 1808 February 11. He married Elizabeth H. Greene, who was born in South Carolina or Alabama on 1815 August 20, in Alabama on 1832 July 19. The couple had five children who survived to adulthood: David Conroe, Eugenia, Jerome, James, and Sampson. They may have also had three children who died as infants.
The McCowan family immigrated to Texas sometime between 1839 and 1845 and settled in Harrison County, where James became a planter with more than fifty slaves and the owner of the Marshall Hotel. He also served in the first Texas State Legislature. James McCowan died in Harrison County on 1852 July 6. His widow married William T. Fortson on 1855 February 22. Elizabeth McCowan Fortson died in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana, on 1866 August 21; her husband died around the same time.
In some sources, the family surname is spelled McCown.
Campbell, Randolph B. A Southern Community in Crisis: Harrison County, Texas, 1850-1880. Austin, Texas: Texas State Historical Association, 1983.
Carpenter, V. K., Mrs., transcriber. The State of Texas Federal Population Schedules Seventh Census of the United States 1850, Harrison County. Fort Worth, Texas: American Reference, 1969.
Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Founders and Patriots of the Republic of Texas: The Lineages of the Members of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Volume II. Austin, Texas: Daughters of the Republic of Texas, 1974.
McCowan Family Papers, 1848-circa 1866, Doc 5194, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.
Ruff, Nancy Blakeley, compiler. Harrison County, Texas, Early Marriage Records, 1839-1869. St. Louis, Missouri: Ingmire Publications, 1983.
Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. Journals of the House of Representatives of the First Legislature of the State of Texas. Clarksville, Texas: Standard Printing Office, 1848.
The collection contains correspondence, financial records, and legal documents. Included is an 1850 letter from Sam Houston to James McCowan commenting on an unnamed newspaper. Two tax receipts list the lands owned by James McCowan and his estate. Legal documents refer to McCowan's estate and that of his wife, Elizabeth.
No restrictions. The collection is open for research.
Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.
[Identification of item], McCowan Family Papers, 1848-circa 1866, Doc 5194, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.
Sam Houston letter donated by Jimmie Morgan. The donor of the remaining documents in the collection and the date of acquisition are unknown.
Processed by Warren Stricker, 1997 June.
Finding aid edited and encoded by Tom D'Amore, 2011 June.
Detailed Description of the Collection